Mr. Richard Bowers, former Director of Special and Teacher Education at Fisk University (retired)
Ms. Natasha Young, member Sister Network Nashville
Robert Winn, MD
Dr. Robert Winn currently serves as director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. In this position, he oversees a cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute that provides outstanding cancer care, conducts groundbreaking research to discover new treatments for cancer and offers high-quality education, training and community outreach programs. His current basic science research, which has been supported by multiple National Institutes of Health awards, focuses on the cellular pathways that drive the development and progression of lung cancer and the role of cell division arrest in lung cancer. Winn is committed to community-engaged research centered on eliminating health disparities. He is a principal investigator on several community-based projects funded by the NIH and National Cancer Institute, including the All of Us Research Program, a NIH precision medicine initiative. He has received national and international acclaim for his efforts to empower underserved patient populations, improve health care delivery and ensure equal access to cancer care.
Mark R. Denison, MD
Dr. Denison is the Edward Claiborne Stahlman Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology, and Director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The Denison Lab has been NIH funded for more than 30 years, focused on antiviral development since 2013, and directed preclinical testing for anti-CoV antivirals including Remdesivir and EIDD-2801 (Molnupiravir). The Denison lab also performed the first studies showing that the Moderna COVID vaccine could inactivate COVID from vaccinated volunteers. Dr. Denison is an appointment member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB). He has a long-standing commitment to integrating biosafety and biosecurity in the design of experiments with emerging pathogens. Dr. Denison is an elected fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Association of American Physicians.
James E.K. Hildreth, PhD, MD
Dr. Hildreth is the 12th president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health sciences center. Dr. Hildreth obtained a B.A. in chemistry from Harvard University and was selected as the first African-American Rhodes Scholar from Arkansas. He obtained a Ph.D. in immunology from Oxford University and an M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Hildreth’s research in immunology and virology, with a focus on HIV, has resulted in more than 120 publications in top journals and 11 patents, numerous NIH grants, and awards. Dr. Hildreth has led Meharry’s effort to support the city of Nashville’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has recently been appointed to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Products Advisory Committee that will review COVID-19 vaccine trial data and make recommendations for approval to the FDA commissioner.
Morgan F. McDonald, MD, FACP, FAAP
Dr. McDonald is the Deputy Commissioner for Population Health at the Tennessee Department of Health. Dr. McDonald is board-certified in internal medicine and pediatrics. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Vanderbilt University. She completed her residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. As Deputy Commissioner, Dr. McDonald facilitates prevention and safety net services including Maternal and Child Health and chronic disease prevention, Rural Health, and Minority Health and Disparities Elimination. She also oversees data infrastructure for the state. She has been recognized with numerous service and teaching awards, including the Emerging Maternal and Child Health Professional Award by the Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs.
Brian Rini, MD, FASCO
Dr. Rini is the Chief of Clinical Trials at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Ingram Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, where he leads kidney cancer clinical research efforts and the expansion of oncology clinical research operations. His research activities include over 200 publications extensively covering genitourinary cancer, most notably renal cell carcinoma. Dr. Rini has been lead investigator of several phase 3 clinical trials which have led to FDA approval. He has spoken at numerous seminars and invited lectureships, locally, nationally, and internationally, on genitourinary cancers and their treatments. He is a member of ASCO, KCA (Kidney Cancer Association) and SITC (Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer) with leadership positions in these organizations. He recently completed a term as a member and immediate past Chair of the Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC).
Karen M. Winkfield, MD, PhD
Dr. Winkfield is a radiation oncologist specializing in the treatment of hematologic and breast malignancies. She is an implementation scientist focused on improving health outcomes for underserved populations through community-engaged research and community-based initiatives designed to improve access to healthcare including clinical trials. Her leadership roles have focused on developing bi-directional communication between researchers and community to ensure equitable access to care regardless of race/ethnicity, geographic location or socioeconomic states. She also espouses workforce diversity as a means to improve health equity Dr. Winkfield served as Chair of ASCO’s Health Equity Committee from 2016-2017 and now serves as Chair of the ASCO’s Workforce Diversity Task Force. She was recently named Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance.
Sonya Reid, MD, MPH
Dr. Reid is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center/Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Dr. Reid’s research primarily focuses on health disparities in breast cancer, young-onset breast cancer, and hereditary breast cancer. Specifically, she is investigating genomic differences that may be contributing to the racial survival disparity in breast cancer. Dr. Reid is also focused on improving health care delivery to underserved communities and increasing the representation of minority patients in clinical trials.
Venkataswarup Tiriveedhi, MD, PhD, MBA
Dr. Tiriveedhi’s received his MD from Osmania Medical College, India followed by a PhD in biochemistry from University of Southern Mississippi. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins (2008-2009) and Washington University at ST. Louis (2009-2011). Dr. Tiriveedhi started as a faculty at Tennessee State University and is currently a tenured Associate Professor. He also holds an adjunct Associate Professor position at Vanderbilt University. His research laboratory focusses on developing CD4+T cell based therapeutic strategies against breast cancer. His lab has identified a novel salt specific marker, SIK3, which plays a key role in inflammation induced cancer proliferation and p-glycoprotein mediated drug resistance in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).